Event organisers Tandem Events have today announced the ten finalists for the Develop:Brighton 2023 Indie Showcase competition celebrating the best unsigned games from indie developers across the UK and Europe.
Each of the ten shortlisted games will be available to play at the Develop:Brighton 2023 Expo, which takes place on Wednesday 12 July and Thursday 13 July at the Hilton Brighton Metropole during the conference which starts on Tuesday 11 July.
“Our focus this year is on originality and innovation, and we're delighted with the level of imagination in all the different games that were submitted.” said Alistair Aitcheson chair of the Indie Showcase judging panel. “The final ten were those that surprised and excited us the most, and they're brimming with new ideas and possibilities. These are really special and unique games, and we can't wait for everyone to play them at the conference!”
Develop:Brighton attendees will be able to vote onsite for the People’s Choice award winner, with an additional Overall Winner selected by a panel of expert judges. The winners will be announced during the final session on the final day of the event.
The finalists were selected by a panel of judges and include physics-based golf, climbing to the top of a mountain as a turnip, surviving the sunrise as a vampire, and learning languages through VR.
- Noun Town: VR Language Learning by realiaXR (Meta Quest 2)
Noun Town: VR Language Learning is the new way to learn a foreign language! Pick things up, listen, read, and speak your chosen language in a world that regains colour as you learn. Test your skills with mini-games & talk to the local villagers. Learn Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and more. The game launched in Dec 2022 and is currently "Top Rated" on the Quest store, and has a 96% "Positive" Steam rating.
- Cabernet by Party for Introverts (PC)
Cabernet is a 2D narrative RPG set in 19th century Eastern Europe. Guide Liza, a young vampire struggling with her morality and the supernatural world she has been pulled into. Use the moonlit sky wisely to plan your next feast and explore. Get to know the vampiric society and the humans who feed them. Uncover who will be useful and whose only purpose is a meal. Survive to see another night by returning home before the deadly Sunrise.
- Squarelets by Chaos Cookie (iOS)
Squarelets is a beautiful image puzzle to play when you want to relax and unwind.
Immerse yourself in a world of vivid colours, charming graphics, and satisfying gameplay. Progress through levels of increasing difficulty by uncovering details of hidden images, and test your observation skills by finding which image was concealed.
- Digs by Catchy Games (PC)
"Digs" is an exciting and challenging roguelike tower defence game that offers endless possibilities and a new experience every time you play. As the defender, your task is to protect a valuable chest from waves of enemies on a randomly generated map. Using strategy and quick thinking, you must dig in the mine and place towers, traps, and obstacles to defend the chest.
- Donjon Fauna by Bang Technologies (Meta Quest 2)
Donjon Fauna is a VR co-op fantasy creature veterinarian simulator where a VR player cooperates with a non-VR player to heal wounded fantasy creatures. The VR player plays the role of a creature veterinarian intern, tasked with healing wounded creatures which are brought into the creature veterinary. However, the VR player does not have direct access to the manual with instructions required to heal the creatures and will need to rely on help from a non-VR player with a manual.
- Dungeon Golf by Ant Workshop (PC)
Dungeon Golf is a physics-based mini-golf party game. Compete with your friends in online and local multiplayer or play solo to win trophies and climb to the top. Whack balls, battle enemies and get the upper hand with your abilities to change the odds.
- Rough Justice: '84 by Gamma Minus (PC)
Rough Justice: '84 is a neon-noir board game inspired strategy game with puzzles, dice, and cards. Do what it takes to make your fledgling security agency thrive in this 80s noir crime-bustin', dirty-crossing, vengeance-seeking single-player experience.
- Horror Stories: Harvest Hunt by Villainous Games Studio (PC)
Trapped in a cursed village, you’re pitted against a vicious monster. Horror Stories: Harvest Hunt is a single-player, first-person, horror game combining the replayability of rogue-lites with the tension of the horror genre, creating a unique, terrifying experience that unites strategy, stealth, and survival gameplay. Can you save your community?
- Turnip Mountain by Luke Sanderson (PC)
Turnip Mountain is a puzzle platformer with a unique control scheme - use both sticks on a controller to reach ledges and fling your way up a towering mountain! Choose your path to the top, don your turnip in collectable hats and even bring a friend along for the journey!
- Arm of Satan by Ludophoria (PC)
Arm of Satan is the terrifying yet adorable spawn of retro platformers, couch co-op games and dark graphic novels. Expect gripping co-op gameplay, online co-op to play with distant friends, and rich narrative & worlds inspired by diverse theologies.
Last year’s Indie Showcase winners were Paper Trail by Newfangled Games, which was the overall winner, whilst The Tale of Bistun by Black Cube Games was crowned the People’s Choice Winner.
Past Indie Showcase winners and finalists have included That Dragon, Cancer by Numinous Games,
Sunless Sea by Failbetter Games, Hue by Fiddlesticks Games, Lumino City by State of Play Games and WHAT THE GOLF? by Triband, which won in 2018 and just two years later would win Best Mobile Game at the Develop:Star Awards.
Develop:Brighton 2023 takes place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from Tuesday 11 to Thursday 13 July 2023. A range of passes for the conference and expo are on sale.
The Develop:Star Awards also take place that Wednesday evening, celebrating the best and brightest of the game making community.
There’s plenty more on the Develop:Brighton calendar too, from the Develop Star Awards, to the GamesAid Charity Poker Tournament, the Women in Games Fizz and Cake on Wednesday 12 July and the post-conference party supporting SpecialEffect and OneSpecialDay.
About Develop:Brighton Conference & Expo
Develop:Brighton brings together the entire UK game dev industry to learn from each other, share ideas and experiences, network, and do business in a friendly and inclusive environment. The event also offers high quality conference sessions - from the industries brightest minds and talents - with practical takeaways that allow delegates to ‘skill-up’ and be inspired to make better games.
With a programme shaped to reflect attendees’ feedback and hot topics for game makers in 2023 (including AI generated content, discoverability & player acquisition, monetisation and narrative design) the Expo brings together some of the most innovative companies from every sector of games development. Guests can also keep up-to date with the latest dev tools/tech and get hands on with all the games on display. Develop:Brighton offers three days of insight, inspiration, networking and fun on England’s south coast.
About The Develop:Star Awards
Taking place alongside the conference, the Develop:Star Awards recognise the very best of the game development community. The achievements of developers and success of great games and creativity will be celebrated across 20 categories, plus one ultimate ‘Develop Star’ honouring an extraordinary game developer or studio for outstanding achievements and contributions to the industry.